Spencer County: A community of giving

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2012 filled with kind acts, positive initiatives

By The Staff

Editor's note: The following stories were selected as positive highlights from 2012 compiled by The Spencer Magnet staff. The list is not all-inclusive and the highlights appear mostly in chronological order. Some events spanned a greater time frame and may appear seemingly out of order.


Streets named 2011 couple of the year
Scott and Linda Street were named the Spencer County-Taylorsville Chamber of Commerce’s Couple of the Year and accepted the award during the chamber’s first meeting in 2012.
The Streets are involved in many philanthropic activities throughout Spencer County.
Scott is the president of Spencer County Habitat for Humanity and Linda sits on the organization’s board.
The two participate in the mentoring program with Spencer County Schools.
Linda is a voting member of the Main Street Committee and is involved with the Spencer County Farmer’s Market.
The two are also in the process of renovating the Polk House at the corner of Main and Point streets in downtown Taylorsville.
The Streets are active at First Baptist Church, and Linda says their giving spirit comes from their relationship with Christ.
“For us, personally, it is a reflection of the life and example of our Christian belief in Jesus Christ,” she told the group gathered at the Chamber meeting. “When Jesus encountered people on his journey, he never left them wanting. Whether they were children, ‘sinners,’ or handicapped in some way, he helped them. Although we can never fully match up to his perfect love for others — we humbly follow his example of servanthood.”

‘Buckle Up Spencer County’ focuses on promoting seatbelt use
Following an accident in January that killed two Spencer County teenage girls and injured another, Spencer Countian Kristen Benham launched “Buckle Up Spencer County” to promote seat belt safety.
The effort started as a Facebook page and has grown into a local committee, which has sponsored fundraisers and developed a presence at community events.
In September, the committee, which is made up of Benham, Niki Ethington, Danny Hilbert, Janet Oliver and Kristen Smith, organized a softball tournment and hope to make it an annual event.
The inaugural tournament brought in $725, which was to be used during future community events and Buckle Up projects.
Buckle Up sponsored a table during Trick or Treat on Main Street on Oct. 31 and passed out candy, along with seat belt safety literature.
The group also has a banner that has made the rounds in Spencer County, stopping at local government offices, churches and even at the “North Pole” with Santa and Mrs. Claus.

Turtleman visits to benefit local family who lost teen
Nationally recognized star Ernie Brown Jr. — better known as the Turtleman — made a local appearance to benefit a grieving family in April.
Brown came to the Spencer County Fairgrounds April 21 for free to help raise money for the family of 16-year-old Michaella “Mikie” Monroe, who was killed in a motor vehicle accident on Mike Brown Road Jan. 18. Monroe was an avid hunter and was known for her love of the outdoors.
Hundreds showed up at the fairgrounds to meet and speak with Brown, who has said numerous times that he enjoys traveling around the country and helping people. He makes many of his appearances for free.

Local Crusade for Children fundraising efforts bring in more than $24,000
The 2012 WHAS Crusade for Children collection efforts in Spencer County again reminded the community that local people almost always step up to help those in need.
Spencer County’s two fire protection districts raised just over $24,000 for the annual telethon. The money raised each year benefits special needs children across Kentucky and southern Indiana.
The Taylorsville-Spencer County Fire Protection District raised $14,386.74 from road blocks in three days — just $600 less than 2011 totals.
Mount Eden Fire and Rescue, which serves areas in Spencer and Shelby counties, raised $9,653.61 — up 35 percent from 2011 donation totals.

Relay for Life cancer walk brings awareness, raises more than $40,000
The Spencer County Relay for Life walk-a-thon is a yearly community initiative that brings hundreds of individuals together for the purpose of celebrating cancer survivors, remember those who have lost the battle to cancer and fighting back against the disease that touches so many lives annually.  
The 2012 Relay raise more than $40,000 for the American Cancer Society and culminated during the annual walk at Spencer County High School June 8-9. Hundreds of individuals, local businesses and community organizations come together throughout the year to make Relay a success. The local to make each year’s Relay better than the last start long before the walk-a-thon and include numerous fund raising efforts, as well as other events to raise local cancer awareness.
The 2013 Spencer County Relay for Life kicked off in November. Anyone wanting to get involved with the local effort can contact Samantha Tanner at sams-relay@baehrsden.com.

County rallies around cancer patients Dawson Moore, Blake Hundley
Two of Spencer County’s smallest citizens brought in a large amount of community support this year.
Multiple fundraisers were held to benefit Dawson Moore, a 10-year-old diagnosed with a rare, inoperable brain tumor in July, and Blake Hundley, a 6-year-old diagnosed with cancer in late summer.
The Spencer County Youth Baseball Association planned a successful two-day tournament to benefit Dawson, who played both baseball and football.
The event, which was organized by Eric Heckert and Phillip Bradham, included corn hole tournaments, numerous baseball and softball games, basketball shootouts, large inflatable “bouncies,” and a live concert titled “Music from the Heart: A Benefit for Dawson Moore.”  
Through donations and entry-fees, over $28,000 was raised, almost tripling the original target amount.
Dawson’s parents, Melody and Todd Moore, said they would never be able to repay all the contributing friends and strangers with gratitude enough to equal this remarkable surge of community generosity and support.
“People have been giving from the bottom of their heart,” said Melody Moore. “We don’t even know where to direct our thanks because (support) has been coming from all over.”
Several events also took place to raise money for Blake, a son of Adam and Kelly Hundley of Mount Eden.
Family friends Chassidy Hawkins and Selina Thompson Goode organized a horse show in September.
“Selina and I were talking of the different types of benefits that could be done to raise money for the family,” Hawkins said. “We’re a big horse family. That is the first thing I thought of was a horse show.”
She said the support from the Spencer, Shelby and Anderson counties was almost unbelievable.
“The whole tri-county area has him on prayer lists,” Hawkins said. “If one of my children were going through this, I think it would help knowing that you had that many people behind you.”
Other events, from yard sales to concerts, also took place to raise money for the Hundley family.

Local Habitat for Humanity chapter launches ‘A Brush with Kindness’
Spencer County Habitat for Humanity has had a presence in the area for several years, but 2012 was a special time for the organization. The local chapter launched the “A Brush with Kindness” program, which is an offshoot of the national organization.
Taylorsville resident Rebecca Maddox and her two sons, Lucas and Jacob, were blessed by the program in August. Local Habitat volunteers came to their Hill Street home and replaced its dilapidated front porch.
 “A Brush with Kindness” allows families to apply for assistance with household projects they could not complete alone.
Maddox said the project was something that she and her husband, Michael Maddox, planned to do, but he died unexpectedly Jan. 9, 2012, of a massive heart attack.
“When my husband passed away, this community came together,” she said. “They just really helped me out. If it weren’t for the community and for the people in Spencer County, I don’t know what I would have done.”
For more information about the local HFH chapter, visit http://spencercountyhfh.com.

Holiday food drives raise record amounts
Spencer Countians came in out in full force during the 2012 holiday season setting records in local food drives and donating toys and cash to help those in need in the community.
Partnering with the Kentucky State Police Post 12 in Frankfort, the Taylorsville Police Department collected 4,610.5 pounds of food — more than half of the total collected from the seven Post 12 counties.
The food and money collected fed a total of 35 families, with over 2,000 pounds left to add to the county’s efforts.
In 2012, the county assembled 162 food baskets around the Christmas holiday.
With those efforts combined, nearly 200 families had a lot more to enjoy this year.
Community members also donated to the second annual Sheriff’s Shining Stars program, which used donations to purchase toys and a meal for several families in early December.
And, according to organizers, the local Toys for Tots program took in a large amount of toys, which were distributed to families in need.
The Spencer County Ministerial Association also sponsored its toy sale, which is funded each year through community donations. Organizers take the total collected and split it among those who sign up to participate.
Also, this holiday season, the Kentucky State Police sponsored its Shop with a Trooper program and took 27 children from 12 families on a shopping spree.
And let us not forget the Spencer County Family Resource and Youth Service Centers. These organizations interact with families on a daily basis and work hard to see that through the above programs, families’ needs are met.

‘One Sole Purpose’ donates more than 1,200 pairs of shoes to local school children
For the first time in Kentucky, local podiatrist Dr. William Beasley and pastor Chad Goodlett joined together in 2012 to launch a community effort that supplied each of Spencer County Public Schools’ preschool-fifth grade students with a new pair of tennis shoes.
The initiative, labeled One Sole Purpose, is a non-profit organization based in Springfield, Mo. Beasley and his wife, Pat, read about the organization’s founder in a magazine and decided they wanted to bless local children through One Sole Purpose.
Months of fundraising, hundreds of volunteer hours and countless community businesses and organizations came together to make the effort successful. Approximately 1,250 local school children received a new pair of Converse tennis shoes in December.
Beasley hopes to make the effort an annual event, coinciding with the start of school.

‘Love My Neighbor’ store, community ministry looks to help those in need
Perhaps one of the community’s most recent selfless initiatives includes the opening of the Love My Neighbor store off Ky. 55 next to Citizens Union Bank.
The store opened in late December and provides low-cost clothing, furniture, appliances and more to those working to survive on a tight budget — but for those with an immediate need and the inability to pay, the items will be provided for free.
The idea for the store came from Redemption Hill Baptist Church deacon Jason Cox and First Assembly of God pastor Chad Goodlett. It has now grown into a full community ministry with the help of several local churches and is completely operated by volunteers.
Goodlett and Cox agree that Love My Neighbor is not your typical thrift store. Its founders and volunteers share the biblical motto of first loving God with heart, soul, mind and strength and loving others above oneself.
“This is a project that we are doing on behalf of Jesus,” Cox said.
Any community members with a need or wanting to lend a helping hand to the ministry can email lovemyneighborinc@gmail.com.

Yearlong giving
Some giving can hardly be measured because it is so great and so spread out through the year — such is the giving by so many community members through their local churches.
It isn’t uncommon for churches to take up love offerings for those in need or to host fundraising events for congregation and community members.
Lots of community members contribute through their church Dare to Care programs or by giving their time to hand out food baskets.
For some, giving is a yearlong process that begins with serving on a committee responsible for bringing fun, community events to life each year in Spencer County.
This giving cannot be quantified, but it certainly improves the quality of life for those in the community.